Usually when I find something quaint about the way we Latter-day Saints conducted our lives and worship in the past, I can see how what we did then developed into what we do now. That isn’t the case with the material in this 1885 letter written by Thomas Memmott of Scipio, Millard County, Utah, to the bookstore and publishing firm operated by George Q. Cannon – there just isn’t anything in my experience that connects to this fun little bit o’ history:
Some years ago when taking up a new field here, we took in ten acres of land for the Sunday school for which we now have the deeds. The brethren donated a ten acre water claim, and then another brother donated five acres more land; thus our Sunday school now owns fifteen acres of land and ten of water.
We plant this with grain, hire out the land, and the proceeds are used for our Sunday school.
We made Brother Yates, our Co-op. Superintendent, treasurer. When the grain is thrashed it goes to him and he kindly allows us the highest cash price, we never closing out to him until we think grain is at its highest price.
Now we give small tickets to the scholars for early attendance and also for other good causes. These small tickets have a cash value – half a cent. These are redeemed with larger tickets whose value is two cents. These are in turn redeemed with anything proper on a cash basis. Thus many good books have got into the hands of our children from this source. At the beginning of this year many had saved up their tickets, and we offered to take them on Juvenile Instructor subscriptions and the result is six new subscribers from that source. Thus placing in the hands of the children the best work of the times for them.